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Posting Bail

The Sheriff’s Office processes bail on behalf of the courts. Find out information regarding the bail process for an adult in custody (AIC.)

Bail (also known as “security”) is the amount determined by the court for a defendant’s release from custody until their trial. Bail is not a fine or punishment but used to ensure defendants will appear for trial and all pretrial hearings. The money used to post bail (generally 10% of the full bail amount) is held as collateral; if the defendant attends all court appointments, the posted bail may be returned to the poster, minus a 15% court processing fee and any fines issued by the judge. If bail is posted in full, the court will waive its processing fee.

How to post bail

man paying bail

There are two types of bail: Traditional Bail (someone else posts for the AIC) or Self-Bail (AIC posts for themselves.) Generally, only 10% is needed for release –however, if the AIC does not attend all court appointments the posted amount is forfeit and the individual who posted bail may be responsible for the additional 90% of full bail.

Traditional bail

Any adult with official government-issued photo identification, except another AIC, may post bail in-person or by mail. *If you choose to post bail, you become responsible for the full bail amount should the AIC miss any court appointments.


  • Bail can be posted 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Sheriff’s Office Records Unit, 215 SW Adams Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97123.

  • Acceptable forms of payment: Cash or credit card - a cashier’s check may only be accepted during open bank hours for verification purposes.

By Mail

  • Before sending, always confirm the bail amount by calling the jail at 503-846-6826.

  • Include a letter stating who is to be bailed out and the name, address, and phone number of the person responsible for posting bail along with a photocopy of the poster’s government-issued identification.

  • Include an accepted form of payment: Official bank check or cashier’s check with a bank business card listing contact person’s name and number for verification.

  • Mail to:

    • Washington County Sheriff’s Office
      Records Unit
      215 SW Adams Ave MS-32
      Hillsboro, OR 97123

If you have cash, you can avoid full bail responsibility by adding it to the AIC’s jail account for them to self-bail, see below for more information.


AICs can post bail for themselves using cash or credit cards in their possession at the time of arrest, or money added to their jail account. Jail staff will help them with the posting process.

  • Money added to an AIC jail account becomes their property and they are not obligated to use the money for self-bail.

  • If the AIC has a negative account balance, the debt must also be paid in addition to the bail amount for self-bail (this does not apply for traditional bail.) For example – if bail is $250 but the AIC has a debt of $20, then $270 is needed to cover the debt and bail. You may call Records to confirm account debt at 503-846-2700.

Did you know, you can post bail at our office for AICs held at any county jail in Oregon, not just those lodged in Washington County? Contact our Records Unit for more information, 503-846-2700.

Determining bail amount 

To determine an AIC's bail (security) amount, call 503-846-6826 or search for the AIC by name on our Custody List . The security amount shown is the amount that must be paid. This is usually 10% of the full bail amount, however, some traffic violation charges may list and require the total security amount. 

For an AIC with multiple criminal charges stemming from a single incident (case number), only the charge with the highest security amount needs to be posted. If there are multiple charges for traffic offenses, like DUII, security of each charge is needed. 

Bail amounts may change at any time if the charges are updated or if a court order changes the bail amount. We recommend calling to verify or if you have additional questions, 503-846-6826.